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Human mind Vs Robotic program

According to talk by Sabastian Seung "I am my connectome", once we achieve complete connectome map, we may be able to understand how brain works.

I would like to think further. Based on this technology, we will be able to stimulate one's brain with the right signals in order to get the expected outcome; for example, if I'd only know which neurones, synapses and neural activities are triggered when one's playing piano, I'd just be treated with "artificial" stimulus and as a result I should be able to learn how to play the piano (not even have to sit in the lesson myself. How amazing is that!?)

Now, here's the philosophy question. I wonder if we could do that, what would be different between us and robot? Since this neural cascaded partway is the basic how our mind work, now if we could alter it, do we have total control on our mind? Dose free-will still exist in that case? or it dose but in limited scale?

Also with this technology, what else you think we can benefit from and what kind of applications from it that should be extensively reviewed before they will allowed to be used?

Hope this will be a nice informative debate. :D

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    May 31 2011: Although there may be missing pieces to our understanding of the way the mind works, I believe humans will eventually be able to create forms of intelligence which match their own intellectual capability. How long this will take is open to debate, but with exponential increases in knowledge it may be sooner than we would guess.

    What is your opinion Kelwalin?
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      Jun 1 2011: Tim, I'm not sure what you mean when you refer to "exponential increases in knowledge." What is your measure of that? How is knowledge the same or different from data, information and wisdom?

      The term "exponential increase" is tossed around a lot these days. I think it's used too loosely, so I'm skeptical.
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        Jun 1 2011: Perhaps "exponential" is not technically correct in terms of inherent limitations on growth. However, knowledge increases more than linearly. With world-wide dispersal of information knowledge builds on itself at increasing rates, often exponentially until road-blocks are hit (see Ultimate Limits of Moore's law - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law#Ultimate_limits_of_the_law).

        In any case, it is impossible to predict when certain accomplishments will be attained. But when goals aren't achieved as predicted it is no reason to consider them unattainable.

        If you are saying that you are skeptical that artificial intelligence superior to humans will ever be achieved, can you explain why you believe that?
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          Jun 2 2011: Well "ever" has the suggestion of infinity and I'd be foolish to say anything can never be done. But my observation is that quite frequently big ambitions greatly underestimate the complexity of what's involved so they fall short of their prognostications. Curing cancer, nuclear fusion as an abundant power source, and, above all, artificial intelligence seem to be things that have turned out to be far more complex than anybody thought. Some prognosticators are still making extravagant claims (eg, Kurzeweil, et al and the singularity). I'm no longer impressed with electronic engineers who think they can reverse-engineer the brain. I've personally known Silicon Valley engineers who thought they could manage cancer research better than medical and biological scientists. It took them a few years to learn that all biology is more complex than any electronics they had worked on. Perhaps the biggest finding of the last decade of genome decoding is that the processes of gene expression into a phenotype is much more complex than anybody thought when the first genome was sequenced a decade ago. Beyond these mountains are more mountains.
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      Jun 3 2011: Agree with you, Tim, and I wish we're right. Our knowledges are growing very fast now and I hope we'll live to see these advance technologies come in use.

      David, thanks again for interesting articles. So far, it seems to me that there're more and more evidences suggested that we are not totally in control of our mind and therefore free-will is just an illusion.

      For me, I have no difficulty to accept this fact. Fact is a fact. However, I prefer to "hypnotise" myself to believe that I can control myself; I can do what I believe. It just something that motivate me to keep improving.

      But it's almost like a prophecy to me that this idea may fear and/or dispirited many. One may feel like life is meaningless. Or to be more worrying, one may feel irresponsible for what has been done or about to take action, claiming that it's not his/her false cause it's out of power to control his/her own mind. I think we need to be smart in order to spread this fact and make sure that the communities will have a good understand.

      What do you guys think?

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